The England and Wales Cricket Board ECB announces to release an emergency fund package of worth £61 million which will help counties and clubs financially afloat amid coronavirus outbreak.
The domestic campaign postponed until May 28 at least due to the coronavirus crisis, however, the ECB’s own modelling takes into account the possibility of the entire 2020 campaign called off.
The resulting loss in revenues presents a dire problem during what should be the sport’s peak commercial months and the ECB announces and response has been swift – with £40million dropping into the accounts of first-class counties and county cricket boards on Wednesday morning. That money involves bringing forward some promised payments and removing restrictions around others, with more than £20million also made available in the form of interest-free loans and grants. At present no new money borrowed by the ECB but further stimulus has not been ruled out.
Announcing the measures, ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said: “It is no exaggeration to say this is the biggest challenge the ECB has faced in the history of the game, the modern era anyway and certainly in the ECB’s history. “The impact on the sports environment is massive from COVID-19 and we won’t know the full impact for a few months. We are aware the effects will be long-standing and they will be very significant for us. We are doing everything we can to try and make sure that we keep the cricket network in business.
“The aim is to give certainty in these extremely difficult times and to keep the lights on. This just the start of addressing this massive challenge and we have to work together because every area of the game will impacted in the event that most or all of the cricket season lost.”